Sunday, 12 July 2009

Oxegen 2009

We went to the Friday as day trippers, mainly because of the great lineup. 100 Euro each for a day compared to 90 Euros for your average concert at The Point (O2) or Croker is a good deal in these recessionary times.

Goffs parking and buses well organised - free sweets too. Not very nice - Randoms. Loads of car parking attendants, security and bar staff. Where do they go to get these temp jobs? My son would kill for that type of work. Anyone tell me?

First pint of Heinie then out of the drizzle and in to the Green Sphere tent to see The Dirty Epics - a good, Irish (light) rock band with a sassy lead singer in a frock that defied gravity and cut her hands with mirror ball cut outs. (Pony and The Cure) Radio Friendly and a good festival band.

The rain was more of a shower now than a drizzle. Then the main stage for The Coronas. Again, a crowd pleaser. And they were obviously having a good time themselves, which is infectious. The lead singer smiled as he sang
and was on the cute side. Note to self for readings. Smile.

Now the rain was actual rain. I put on my poncho which is a bit like wearing a tent. Not a good look but dry. Went to the Heineken Green Bar (they should sponsor me for this. I'd welcome that. I'm a big Heineken fan, me) which was covered over and had a good view of the O2 stage while we sat and sipped The Answer were playing. Apparently they're from Downpatrick but they played like they wished they were from New Jersey or Detroit. Long flowing locks and lots of heavy guitar thrashing. If they were the answer, I quipped (I don't often quip) I wondered what the question was. I missed God is An Astronaut at the Green Spheres stage.

Back for some wishy-washy noodles then to the main stage for James. We had the Millionaires CD in the car for years and know the album inside out. They didn't play anything I recognised. They had a good time with solid music and a bit of manic dancing on stage but didn't rock this audience. The trumpet player was wearing a dress. He was a male trumpet player and quite hairy. Actually he looked pretty cool. This could start a trend. The rain stopped though.

Some jolly nice coffee, a pitstop at the pretty OK festival loos and a very nice falafel and hummous wrap at the vegetarian and vegan stand. Then Lily Allen. She's very funny, very rude and a talented wordsmith. Great fun. The crowd were word perfect even for songs that hadn't been on the radio - too rude. She pointed out her young cousin watching from the sound gantry. The Northerners around me talked a lot though so I couldn't make out everything she said between sets. She did give some tips for the gentlemen on their lovemaking techniques I have to endorse. (The Fear, LDN) Someone kicked a footbal with a banana taped to it. Why? She kicked it back.

Girl in the crowd was very hazy and made everyone nearby twirl. She didn't ask me at first, just the good looking guys (of which there were many) then the good looking girls (also many) then anyone and everyone including me. Was strangely relieved not to be left out.

Then to the Green Spheres tent to see what Mogwai were like. They wre very serious, very loud, staring at their shoelaces while playing. Not a great festival band. Lots of enthusiastic head nodding and not much toe tapping from the audience.

Many dozy teenagers around now, jolly rather than agressive, no fighting that I saw. I did see a sheepish looking man being lead away by 4 garda followed by his girlfriend. No idea what he did but he wasn't putting up any resistance, physical or verbal.

The Script I wasn't expecting much from so we watched from afar, lying down in a field. They were much better than forecast with some great sing a long tunes and a fairly packed crowd. I people watched. Wellies are the thing for all girls and lots of lads. Short shorts and Tropicana coloured legs, clashing colours also de rigeur. And waterproofs.

Overheard from a Cork girl. "When in Rome, drink like the Romans do." Imagine this in a strong Cork city accent.

Escaped to get some wine (not me, driving) then to Snow Patrol. Not top on my list, I was torn between them and Republic of Loose, but they played a terrific set. They had a very responsive audience. They brought two young girls on stage to sing and did lots of 'now you sing' girls first, then the lads. Lads won hands down. I wonder what the make up of the audience is. There were lots of gaggles of girls but also loads of lads with the man buddies. Anyway, Snow Patrol won me over completely. I think they supported U2 so have had lots of practise recently. Chasing Cars was a real stormer. Open Your Eyes and Shut Your Eyes.

They played videos on the main screens between acts. While we were waiting for Blur, they played Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and everyone joined in. Brilliant. Then Billy Jean by Michael Jackson.

Dark now and everyone ready for my main reason for coming. Blur. I've seen them twice before, once in Cork and once at the RDS. Both times absolutely fantastic. I tried not to watch the Glastonbury set on TV so as not to spoil it. Great set. All the best ones. Girls and Boys had the tiring crowd bouncing and hands in the air. Graham Coxon's guitar screaming, heavy heavy bass making my trouser legs vibrate but Damon is the one for me. A real showman, so energetic, leaping about the stage and slightly stoned too.

Lots of the older stuff I didn't know so well, rough around the edges but that's what made it great. Slick has no place at a festival. Super light show. Beetlebum was great and Coffee & TV, always a good 'un. Park Life. The End. Love it. All Join In. Gradually made my way forward for the first encore. A good proportion of the crowd was tiring. Second encore I was at the barrier between the main crowd and the front section with a brilliant view. Song 2 had the crowd leaving the ground and The Universal finished the day. Damon coming down into the crowd, adoring it and they adoring him. A massive, fantastic day. Icing. really, you're spoiling us.


LauraCassidy said...

sounds like so much fun!

BarbaraS said...

Glad you had a good time EW - Blur sounds like they were fab - slightly jealous :)

P Nolan said...

great review - thanks for that :-)

Lily Sheehan said...

What a great line up. I really want to see Blur. I'm off to see Lily Allen in November and I must say I'm looking forward to her banter. I like it when they chat to the audience.